Keegan’s Story

224 total words    

1 minutes of reading

From the Chicago Sun-Times, a story
about a North Side resident of Goose Island—
a little after six, Wednesday morning:
Found under a parked car
at a service center, a coyote
named Keegan.

The mackerel sky indifferent to Keegan’s
plight, who still knows little of his own story—
except that baby coyotes
do appear even on Goose Island—
home of broken cars—
hunger blending into morning.

A flat swirl of morning
clouds reaches for Keegan
as he runs up the ramp to the fancy cars.
Four-month-old pup, leery of human stories,
of Canada geese on Goose Island
where trapped pups grow into coyotes;

who swim to Ma or Pa coyote
to learn that sometimes morning
means sleeping on a created island,
hunting for rats, squirrels, rabbits. Keegan
yips the moral of the story:
What is a car?

What is it to kill and eat a car?
Will a pack of coyotes
help? On the radio, the story
continues to spread the morning
news of docile Keegan
yielding to a catchpole, islanders

in no danger as Goose Island
welcomes Animal Care and Control cars,
a man pinning Keegan
to the floor. At least no other coyotes
howl with shame when morning’s
TV flashes stories

of a July morning on Goose Island—
stories of a luxury car, of wild instincts gone awry,
of a big-eyed, long-legged coyote named Keegan.

  • Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody

    Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody is Distinguished Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at Kennedy-King College, Chicago, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Her most recent book, Glacier Fire (Word Press, 2004), was a winner of the Word Press Poetry Prize.

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